Tuesday, July 7, 2015


This week is mimi camp.  Each year I get to keep each group of grandkids while their parents are off doing fun things like going to youth camp or a mission trip….sometimes we have mimi camp just because the parents want some time alone!!

Yesterday we went to pick blueberries.  I LOVED picking blueberries when we lived in Tennessee!  Each summer my friend and I would endure the sweat in order to gather buckets of the yummy blue healthy bites….that was after we ate a bucket or two while we picked.  (which was legal, by the way)!

The first year we moved to Indiana and blueberry season rolled around I began to ask the locals to find out where was the best place to pick blueberries.  The answer….Sams!!  Yep!  Sams!  No so much fun and so I kept pursuing!

The website www.pickyourown.org was super helpful finding a place to pick blueberries….so, one cloudy, cool Saturday July morning (yep, you read that right!!  I never recall using the words cool and July together in Tennessee) my husband and I took off on a road trip in search of the amazing blueberries I remembered from Tennessee.  After driving and driving in the middle of no-where for hours we finally pull up to the pickyourown site.

I could hardly contain my excitement!!  Rows and rows of blueberries!!!  Beautiful, round, blue and just waiting for me to take home and make yummy blueberry pie or blueberry pound cake or simply eat by the handful!! 

The nice man showed us where to begin and gave us two buckets….off we went.  For some odd reason we did not eat any of the round beauties until we had picked a bunch of them….and when we did eat one…Yuck!!  Sour!  Not sweet at all!  What in the world???  You mean we drove and drove and picked and picked and the berries were not even sweet?  Not even good?  Oh, and did I mention we were freezing???  July and freezing!!  Rain had started as well.  I was bound and determined to keep on….picking sour blueberries in the cold rain just because it seemed wrong to return home without them. 

Here’s the deal….once those blueberries were added to the sugar and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients…the blueberries tasted great!!  Side note--Every year since then I have gotten my blueberries at Sams!!

Fast forward to yesterday….and we are picking blueberries at a new place I found much closer to our home (and an Abuelos Mexican restaurant!) and the kids and I were off to once again pick blueberries.  We start our row….I taste immediately (yes, they allow eating and picking in Indiana too) and, sure enough, they are sour!!  Grrrrr.  (I did mention to the great folks weighing the pounds of blueberries we picked that the blueberries in Tennessee are much sweeter than Indiana’s.  Sure hope I didn’t hurt their feelings!)

However…..this time…..by the time we got home (and after they sat in the warm car while we went to the park and Abuelos for lunch) they were amazing!!!  Delicious!  Super sweet!!!  In fact, they didn’t compare at all to the blueberries I had already bought at Sams!!

Sometimes ministry, like blueberries, can be cold and sour and not at all what we expected and we want to throw the whole bunch of it (them) away or, better yet, leave them on the proverbial bushes for someone else!  Sometimes it is cold and uncomfortable and we want to give up and go home.  However, sometimes, like blueberries, ministry just need a little time…..sometimes ministry just need a little more ‘ingredients’ to go with it….sometimes there are things and/or people in our lives that appear/taste sour…not good at all…yet, with time and/or ‘working together’ we can see/taste the ‘good’ God has in it after all.

Keep picking my friend!!  Your toil is not in vain in the Lord!!!  Besides, it just seems wrong to return 'home' without them.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Welcome our newest little American citizen, Jude Michael.  

Today, as you run out the door to family gatherings to celebrate Independence Day, I ask that you pray for our nation, our military, and our leaders. Pray for each other that we may stand strong in our Christian beliefs.  Pray for our children and grandchildren that they may continue to live in a land with the freedom to worship the One True God.  Pray for people who have left their Christian upbringing to return to their roots.  Most importantly, pray for a spiritual revival to sweep across this land and around the global so that all people may hear the gospel and have a chance to respond to it.

Here is a reminder of what 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, "and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Okay girlfriends, time for me to get real honest with you today.  I told my husband last night that this preacher’s wife is ready to pack up her M & M’s supply and runaway.  Yes sisters, exhaustion has hit.

I literally have been on the go since the middle of May with absolutely no break.  I attended relative’s graduations, babysat my two-year old grandson, made final preparations for our 11 day Brazil mission trip, went on the mission trip which was a strenuous trip which included walking up and down very steep hills and stairs all day long, very little sleep and hosting bible school.  When I returned from the mission trip, I went into full Vivi mode as our newest grandson, Jude Michael, was born two days prior to our return.  I have had company three times since returning from our mission trip a week and half ago. Then last week I taught V B S mission to preschoolers.  Now it is the end of June with July looming on the horizon with all its responsibilities.

Today, I want to pose a simple question to you and one I constantly ask myself.  I want your honest answers to this question.  Why do we, busy wives, mothers and ministers’ wives, allow ourselves to take on so many activities and duties?

Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”   I am so glad I have a God who renews my strength daily and allows me to somehow juggle everything on my calendar.  I am thankful that when I am weary, God reminds me to slow down and walk with Him.

Today I am thankful that I can simply sit and rest.  I do not have any place I need to be.  I have no one asking me to do this or that.   My housework can wait until tomorrow.  Yes, God has given me this day to do what Vickie wants to do.  I choose to simply be renewed.

Blessings sisters!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Journey Off My Map

Last week was Vacation Bible School at my church.  Being a kid at heart, I love bible school and enjoy working with the children.  I adore seeing the smiles on children’s faces and watching their excitement.

Well, I signed up to work and said put me where I am needed.  I have served as VBS director, taught the bible lessons, co-directed the musical dramas, wrangled kids in recreation, served up yummy, fun snacks, and even pretended to be an artist in crafts.  I felt I could do whatever our children’s minister needed me to do.  Imagine the shocked look on my face when our children’s minister said, “Great!  We need a mission teacher in the preschool area.”  WHAT?!  Eek!  Cue up the Jaws movie theme and pass the chocolate!
Let me tell you this up front.  Preschoolers are precious and adorable.  I mean I have a sweet two year old grandson whom I love dearly.  However, lock me in a room full of wiggly, constant noise makers and I panic!

Now I have a college degree and have been a pastor’s wife for 37 years.  You would think an educated, seasoned pastor’s wife could leap in and handle toddlers.  Nope, I am inadequate.  Seriously, how do you capture their attention and teach a lesson while dragging two tots out of the kitchen play area and keep four more from running in circles around the room.  Then you turn back around after gathering the escapees and discover the rest of the toddlers have taken flight. This preschool challenge was definitely a journey off my map of knowledge and strength.

Vacation Bible School began at 9 a.m. and by 9:15 a.m., I was completely overwhelmed.  The room was total chaos.  I left Monday weary and almost in tears.  However, I was determined not to be completely defeated.  I spent the first afternoon of VBS gathering coloring sheets, stickers and rewards.  Tuesday dawned and for the first time in my life VBS was not where I wanted to be.  My joy was gone.  That is when God and I had a conversation.  My gift is working with teenagers, but if preschool is where God needed me to be, I would trudge through this uncharted adventure.

Surprise!  Although the week was not without little tikes fighting over toys and crying toddlers (and sometime this girl), I survived.  My greatest joy was seeing my two year old grandson, Gideon, smiling from ear to ear and talking about Jesus. 

Sometimes the uncharted journey off our map is exactly what God desires.  Our paths are sometimes not where God wants us to go and that is when He pulls us kicking and screaming in the direction He wants us to go.  It is my hope that this crazy, scared pastor’s wife said something to these babies that will resonate with them when they are older.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Prayers For Jamaica Answered!

Thank you!

Prayers for Jamaica were answered!

My sisters, I would like to thank each of you as you prayed for our team during our recent mission trip to Jamaica. This was such a wonderful experience, as I saw the Lord work wonders not only among the team members, but also in the hearts of the people that we were blessed to minister to.

I truly believe that the Lord was honored and glorified in all that we were able to accomplish, and the specific requests that I had you praying to the Lord, well, He answered every one!

We had safe travel in the skies, and as we traveled all over the island during our time there. Also, the Lord prepared hearts as we went into schools and walked the streets of the Linstead community sharing the Gospel. I could tell that the Lord truly blessed our two church members that went, so much so that they want to return and bring others. And I was certainly proud of my daughter; I was amazed at her entire demeanor during the trip, and I witnessed a courage and boldness in her that I had never seen before….to God be the Glory for it all!!

Rejoice with me over this: after our time ministering in Linstead was over, there were about 300 souls who made decisions to follow Christ!! Our God is truly amazing!! It was not about what we did, but what HE did through us.

I am very excited about the potential of another team of youth and adults going next year. Many of the teens shared testimonies about how the mission experience impacted their lives and they definitely want to come back again. In fact, after a visit to an elementary school, where a small group of us spoke to the children during their morning devotion time---yes, morning devotions are a permanent fixture on the daily schedule in Jamaican schools!--- my own daughter shared Scripture and a testimony, and later told me that she did not want to leave! I clearly saw that the Lord had given her a heart for missions!

There are so many other things about the trip that I could share, but I will simply say again…. Thank you all for your prayers!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Can't Stay Away

Fun, fun, and more fun!

It’s that time of year again when many of you and your families will be hitting the road, flying through the skies, or sailing away to that much anticipated vacation that you have been planning for and longing to experience. It may be a trip that has become an annual tradition, a new place to explore, a reunion to see family and friends, or maybe the new thing, a “staycation”, where you see visit the familiar sights in your own hometown. Wherever the case may be, the time is near, and you can hardly wait.

It’s nice to get away from the routine and do something different, to “recharge” our batteries so we can plow ahead in the journey of life. And just so you won’t feel guilty about getting away from it all, our Savior encouraged rest and relaxation, when he told His disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”

There are some routines we absolutely need a break from, but as I think about getting away from it all, there are two things that come to mind that we should NEVER cease to do. Perhaps you can guess what they are……..I can’t take a break from these precious practices because they have become a lifeline to me. I am speaking of being intentional about being in the presence of the Lord through Prayer and Reading His Word.

Talking to the Lord daily in prayer is so needed. There is nothing like talking to our Father, as we praise and honor Him in our hearts, ask Him to forgive us of the MANY times that we just don’t get it right, thank Him for His MANY blessings, and present our requests and petitions before Him. Yes, prayer is talking to Him, but it is also so much more, we should incline our hearts to listen as He speaks to us; it is two-way communication, not a monologue. I love what the psalmist says, “Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come…..“ Psalm 71:3a. It’s comforting to know that we can always come to the Lord in prayer.

Every time we open the Bible, we can be certain that it is the voice of God speaking to us. Although He used several writers over a period of hundreds of years to give us the Scriptures, He speaks through every book, chapter, and verse. The psalmist says in Psalm 119:18, “Open up my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” May this plea be the attitude of our hearts and minds, as we fervently pursue God’s Law, and have it minister to us each and every day.

Yes, get away as much as you can, and as often as you can to regroup and energize from your daily routine of working, cleaning, cooking, organizing, running errands, care giving, and the list goes on. Yet never neglect to be faithful to cultivate a daily routine of Prayer and the Word, so that your heart cries out, “I can’t stay away!”

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Enough is Enough

Whewwww!!!!  I am TIRED!!!

This has been another tiring, but fun week.  Our grand-babies spent the night with us Tuesday night and then Wednesday we got up and drove to meet their mommy to go to their first theater movie.  I wound up and spent most of the day with them and then hurried home to get ready to go to church to teach the preschoolers.

Thursday, I literally grocery shopped all day, purchasing food to cook for "Fishers of Men" fishing tournament men for Friday night.  Then, Thursday night, we went over to the grand-babies house, where Roger and I took them out to eat so mommy and daddy could pack for their vacation.  Afterwards, Roger and the parents wound up going out night fishing and I had some quality time with the babies.

Friday, I spend all day cooking............two pot roasts, broccoli casserole, corn salad, slaw, banana pudding and sweet tea.  (Those fishermen eat a lot.  smile.)

Today, Saturday, I have worked all day, getting activities and crafts for Father's Day for the preschool class and worked on Day 1 for the 2 & 3 year old in V.B.S.

It is 9:40 on Saturday night and I am worn out.  I think I am going to take a shower and call it an early night..............tomorrow is Father's Day..........AND......Monday night, we begin our Journey off the Map....Vacation Bible School.

So.......my conclusion is Enough is Enough.....I am NOT super woman.  Time to get some rest.

May you have a blessed week.  God bless you and remember us in your prayers as we are ministering to the children.